2 brothers dead, young boy injured after 'tragic' accident on central Minnesota farm

Updated: December 22, 2019 11:41 PM
Created: December 22, 2019 11:33 PM

(KSTP) -- Two brothers, who worked together on a family dairy farm outside of Brandon, Minn., have been identified as the victims who died after being overtaken by fumes coming from a silo on their property.

The Douglas County Sheriff's Office identified the men as 49-year-old Steven Boesl and 47-year-old Curt Boesl.

Steven died at the scene after trying to save his brother and his nephew, 11-year-old Alex Boesl.

Curt Boesl died Sunday morning at a St. Cloud hospital. Alex remains in critical condition at Children's Hospital in Minneapolis, according to a family member.

The pair helps run the family dairy farm, alongside two other siblings and their father, according to Brent Boesl, the men's brother. Both men were married and each have five children.

"The more prayers, the better," Brent Boesl said.

Dispatchers in Douglas County received a report of two people who were down and unresponsive in a silo around 10:49 a.m. Saturday at 11737 Gravel Pit Road NW in Brandon, Minnesota, according to a news release from the sheriff's office. Dispatchers soon learned that a third person was also down in the silo.

Deputies found out that Curt Boesl and Alex were working in the silo when they were overcome by fumes, according to the sheriff's office. Another son, who was outside the silo, called 911 when he noticed what had happened. He also called Steve who lived nearby.

Steve went up to the top of the silo to try and get Curt and the boy out. He was then overcome by fumes.

Millerville Fire Chief Rodney Roers was one of the first people on the scene.

"As I drove up my heart just sank," he said when he realized he was responding to the Boesl farm.

Both Curt and Steve served as volunteer fire fighters in Millerville, Roers said. Curt was the current assistant fire chief and had been with the department for almost 20 years.

"It was so sad, and we didn't know what we were coming up on against, and then we found out the gravity of the situation," Roers said.

The chief described the brothers as experienced, "top-notch" dairy farmers. He said when he realized that Steve went in to try and save his brother and his nephew, he knew what he was risking.

"It's hard to understand that but most of us would do that for our own brothers," Roers said.

Officials have not identified cause of death at this time.

The Millerville Fire and EMS set up a memorial at the fire station in honor of the two brothers. A sobering picture of the firefighting gear with their names on the helmets is seen in front of the Millerville Fire Hall.

GoFundMe page set up to support the families on Sunday collected more than $15,000 in less than five hours.

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